Reclaiming Her Voice: Liz Strauss Takes on Cancer

By Angel Djambazov

As an entrepreneur you can’t anticipate every obstacle business or life throws your way. And sometimes the curveball thrown impacts both. Which is how I found myself, on the tail end of one of the most beautiful Fall seasons I had experienced in the Pacific Northwest, on a call with the fabulous Liz Strauss. Liz and her son had just finished visiting me in Seattle after completing a successful SOBCon Portland, so I was hardly expecting serious news.

The news Liz had to share was not light. She had been diagnosed with a serious health issue late last year. Now, after connecting with her medical team and having a better sense of what she faces, Liz wanted to share the news with you; her community. What follows is a series of Q&As that I conducted with Liz to help answer your questions about her illness, how she’s handling the ongoing medical treatment, her plans for SOBCon 2013, and what it means to be an entrepreneur facing these challenges.

What can you tell us about your diagnosis?

I have cancer of the larynx. It’s still localized. The analogy the doctor used is that while it was at the threshold of the door it hadn’t gotten to the hallway yet.

How did you find out?

I was scheduled to speak in Hawaii. Eric, my son, went with me. I’d been bothered for quite some time with symptoms that caused me to lose my voice. The doctors said it was allergies and prescribed steroids. I would get a periodic pain in both my throat and my ear. The pain in my ear would come and go and come and go. After five hours on the plane from Honolulu back to the States it was sort of more coming than going.

So I asked a friend in LA to hook me up with her doctor who is an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT). That’s how I found myself in a strange doctor’s office. After putting a camera down my nose, he started showing me pictures and say that we needed to talk about what he’d found. It’s interesting to have pictures in front of your face of something growing on your vocal cords. It was stunning. I didn’t know how to respond.
Cancer is not a one-size-fits-all disease. What information our healthcare system provides is often contradictory and rarely provides a clear roadmap.

How did you make your roadmap?

I was really lucky. The ENT in LA told me that I needed to get treatment immediately because they were worried my airway was going to close. The options were that I could get this done right there in California or I could go to Chicago and walk into the ER and tell them I can’t breathe, and I have a sore throat. So my first big decision was do I undergo surgery with these two doctors I don’t know in LA or go back to Chicago and take the luck of the draw. In the end, Chicago won out because of the support system that comes with being home.

There are plenty of hospitals. Some of which are good at this particular type of cancer and some of which are not. Finding the one that was good at what you need is important. For instance, one the best hospitals in Chicago has only one specialist in neck and throat cancer. However, the hospital I’m going to has seven people who specialize in neck and throat cancer. And that makes a big difference having access to people who live and breathe a specialty makes a big difference.

Back in LA, the ENT and the radiologist were in agreement that the situation was so serious they were going to have to take my voice box. That meant they would also have to take part of my esophagus out. I’d have to learn how to eat all over again. When I got to Chicago and picked my team they said to me you’re not nearly as far along as folks in LA, well-meaning though they were, would have you believe. We’ve seen people much further along than you are and with chemo and radiation, we’ve seen an 85% rate of success in helping them overcome their cancer. The doctors, their specialty and experience, as well as their bedside manner both make a big difference.

“I remember saying early on to my best friend and my son that I didn’t like the way the disease was progressively turning me into an introvert.”

You have this great outlook on life that everything is an adventure, full of surprises. What surprises has undergoing treatment for cancer brought?

The first thing that comes to mind is just how much the medication is affecting me personally. My body’s response to the drugs has created more mood swings than that of a pregnant elephant. But my biggest surprise was how much time it takes to attend to all the medical stuff that is now part of my routine. It’s kind of like living in a region that gets a lot of snow. You don’t think of how much time cumulatively it requires to take off your coat, put on your coat, take off your boots, put on your boots, cleaning the snow off the car, driving slower because of the weather, all of those adjustments you make in winter, until you live someplace where it doesn’t snow.

I spend a lot of time figuring out which pill to take, what time I take those pills, what pills I need to take next, taking the pills, and trying to remember whether I had taken the right pills, ordering the pills, finding a pharmacy that delivers. Not to mention the process of seeing the doctor, answering the same questions over and over again to the hospital staff. All of the medical stuff has made me focus more clearly on what else I need to get done because of all the precious time it eats up.

Right or wrong there is a stigma that comes with illness. How did you feel your diagnosis would impact your interaction with others?

I didn’t want to start talking publicly about this until I had more information. The challenge is that my work is inherently social. My natural reaction when I want to communicate with someone new about business is to invite them onto a phone call. But the process of communicating becomes clumsier and less effective if I can’t talk.

I noticed early on when I started losing my voice over the past couple of years that there were people who are willing to take the time to listen to what I had to say and those who just had no patience for the obstacle. If people care more about the obstacle than they care about who they are communicating with well that’s kind of an issue. Those people are probably not going to be your friends.

Of course, from my point of view, I didn’t want to stress or stretch people’s patience that far. I remember saying early on to my best friend and my son that I didn’t like the way the disease was progressively turning me into an introvert. I would just make the choice not to talk because trying to talk was either too hard on me or the other person. In retrospect the decision we made not to do surgery and remove my voice box first was the right one. My voice is stronger now than it has been in years.

Faced with such a daunting medical challenge how do you keep moving forward?

My son asked me how I deal with this. too. I take it from the point of view of an international traveler who’s on an extended 90-day trip for business. You can only think about two things: the adventure and what you need to do to catch the next airplane. If you start thinking too much about a whole trip, about the whole string of airports, hotels, transportation, red tape, and try to map out everything you have to do between now and the last day of the trip, you’ll wear yourself out with stress. If you can stay with the adventure mindset, it makes it easier to roll with the things life throws your way.

The first thing is to understand is that you can only do what is humanly possible and to think that you can do more is foolish. You must allow for your humanity. Give yourself room to reflect and think. Stop and do what you need to refill the well so you can keep moving forward. Reach out and to let the people around you help you do that.

“Surround yourself with people who know your goals, share your values, and who are willing to help support you in getting back on your feet again.”

That’s the way I do it. I believe in the people who won’t let me fail. That mindset for me has become really important. We’re going to do what we need to do from one day to the next and I’m going to rely on my team and my close friends to ask the questions I don’t think of.

In staying with the mantra of doing only what is humanly possible, what changes did you have to make in regards to your business?

I had two choices: don’t contribute, which to me was not an option; or, contribute in ways that are useful. If you pay attention you get really good at being efficient and contributing. That also makes it easier to step away when you’re not needed or when someone else is better suited to completing the task. Sort of learning the rule if anybody can do it then maybe anybody should do it.

What was required was a shift of the time workload so the two or three good hours I have a day are spent focused on what I can help get done. I’ve become more useful because I can focus on the strategy of what we’re doing with the business and less time attempting to touch everything. I’m more than just a little bit surprised how natural the changes we’ve implemented feel and find myself asking why weren’t we doing this before. Funny how fast we’ve adapted because necessity dictated it. It’s a new kind of risk-taking for me but everything about entrepreneurial work is about risk-taking.

How does fear impact being an entrepreneur?

As an entrepreneur, one day you think you own the world and the next day you’re losing your house. That’s just the nature of being an entrepreneur. Fear is what makes you better, fear is what keeps you going, and if you can’t face fear every day you are probably not meant to be an entrepreneur.

If I had a job at a corporation I might be able to take time off for disability. A paycheck would still be coming. I might be worried about losing my job but I wouldn’t be worried about not having an income. At least not in the short term the way entrepreneur is.

Here’s one tip: If you are going to get sick, do it at the beginning of the year instead of the end. Because now with the New Year, the $5,000 deductible I finished paying last month needs to be paid again this year. I just want to say to the insurance company, “Oh golly, aren’t you nice.â€?

Luckily I have a best friend who doesn’t mind calling on every insurance claim to say, “Tell me again why you discredited this procedure. If we coded it this way could we get it covered?â€? She actually works with the insurance company to make it easier for me.

Having somebody like that who can help navigate insurance company red tape is priceless. How do you find people around you that won’t let you fail?

I was very lucky to have many of those people around me already. My business partner Terry Starbucker took the news in stride. He not only encouraged me to take care of my health but helped find ways to keep me involved in the important aspects of the business that don’t require me to have my feet or as it were, my voice, on the ground.

I pity the people who try to run their own business and haven’t gathered a support team around them because you need those people around you to tell you that you can’t do everything. Surround yourself with people who know your goals, share your values, and who are willing to help support you in getting back on your feet again. By bringing in those people who won’t let us fail we’re actually doing way better than simply not failing. We’re actually growing in new ways.

With all the inherent risk, why are you an entrepreneur?

I’m an entrepreneur because I can’t understand why people do stupid things. I like to watch people build things. And sometimes I find myself suggesting, if you try to do this thing this way you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money and everyone will be much happier working.

Often when you mention that to a corporation you’ll get responses like, “But we’ve always done it that way.â€? or “We can’t change that because the board or the CEO likes it that way.â€? or “It will take us 6 to 8 months to make that kind of change,â€? even if the change itself is a simple one.

I get frustrated because I don’t like watching people do stupid things.

Traditionally corporations are made to move and manage big groups of people. To achieve a sort of lowest common denominator, low-risk result. I think it’s way more fun to work with fewer people on a team that really wants to get things done. That’s why I’m an entrepreneur.

The risk is that you don’t get all of the benefits that come with the support infrastructure inherent to a corporation. The nine other people who know how to cover your job, the benefits program, the rules that say one of those other people who know how to do your job has to cover for you because you’re on disability for six months.

If my dad got sick and couldn’t run his saloon, well the doors still had to open and somebody had to be there to serve folks. And if that person took something from the cash register or if a fight broke out and someone got hurt my dad ultimately was still responsible. That’s the downside of being entrepreneur; you never really separate yourself from the business.

How would you like to see SOBCon evolve?

Every time you hold an event you take the model and experience you just created as a threshold for the next one. If you’re doing it right each new one is the best event you ever did.

SOBCon is more than the Liz and Terry show. It is all the businesses and ideas that started in that room. It’s all the people who have connected with each other over the years. It’s a hugely clarified network of smart, dedicated people who are serious about building the next generation of businesses online.

SOBConers (the entrepreneurs who attend SOBCon) are developing new methods and models that breakdown the barriers that corporations have built up along the way. I want to enable that. I want that process to happen faster, better, and more meaningfully.

I want to bring the ethos of true collaboration that we have at SOBCon inside the corporation so that the corporations learn to actually collaborate with their customers. Not just touch base with them when there’s a problem or a customer service issue or when there’s a sale, but to actually bring their customers into the process of building their brands. Much in the same way they might currently bring their best third-party vendors into the process. So that businesses can truly become part of all the people who help them thrive.

We’re used to seeing you at various conferences in Q1, when will we see you next?

I’m very much looking forward to SOBCon Chicago 2013. It will be our 10th event. For me it’s going to be a sort of coming out party because I’ll be done with all my treatments by then. Hopefully I will still have all my hair. And I would love it if the folks who have taken part in SOBCon in the past or who read Successful Blog and believe in our vision come out and help me celebrate making it through the crucible.

I won’t be seeing many of you between now and then. You won’t see me at all the parties at SXSW this year. But I do look forward to connecting with people who want to share the SOBCon values. We can have a big opening night party in Chicago to celebrate. I think it’s going to be incredible journey for the next 10 to 12 weeks. I’m so focused on the endgame, which is a fabulous event in Chicago, with the goal of taking an unexpected curveball and turning into something good.


Like me, many of you have been helped by Liz’s business acumen and personal generosity. Now is the perfect time to show your support for the vision that is SOBCon and join us for Liz’s coming out party. SOBCon Chicago 2013 takes place at the Summit Executive Center from May 3-5. Hope to see you there; it will be the best one yet!

Author’s Bio:Born in Bulgaria, Angel Djambazov has spent his professional career in the fields of journalism and online marketing. His career path led to online marketing where while working at OnlineShoes he earned the Affiliate Manager of the Year (2006) award at the Affiliate Summit, and In-house Manager of the Year (2006) award by ABestWeb.In 2007 Angel started Custom Tailored Marketing and became the OPM for Jones Soda for which he won his second Affiliate Manger of the Year (2009) award at Affiliate Summit. Angel also was the lead evanglist for which was awarded Best Affiliate Tool (2007 & 2008) award by ABestWeb. In 2010 he won his third Pinnacle Award from Affiliate Summit for Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year.

In 2011 Angel was listed as one of the Top 25 Performance Marketing Influencers according to an ImpactRadius survey. He serves as the Co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief for and


  1. Ramon De Leon (@Ramon_DeLeon) says


    What strength and courage. Not only in the decision process of what’s next but in sharing your plight with the world. There is no doubt there will be a outpouring of Love and support.

    I brag to the world I know you and there has not been a place the sun shines where someone does not say incredible things about you.

    I read ever word, smiled, cried and opened my eyes to your time of need.

    Your are not alone.


    Ramon De Leon

  2. says

    Great article Angel. Thank you to Liz for taking the time to share this challenge. Of course, it’s in your nature to share and to bring all your energy to bear. You and Terry have built something incredible with SOBCon … I will see you in a few months and I look forward to seeing you and the whole SOBCon crew.

  3. says

    I remember how quickly you lost your voice at SOBCon 2011 I attended with Alli. I’m glad they found the problem – I’m glad so glad you followed your instincts and went to your support system and I’m beyond thrilled that your voice is getting stronger. We are here, all of us, behind you. Many hugs and prayers to you.

    Angela <

  4. says

    Angel, thanks for working with Liz to bring us this update.

    Liz, sending you my very best for the next 12 weeks while you finish your treatments. I *will* see you at SOBCon!

  5. says

    Liz, you’re in good hands in Chicago. My brother-in-law is an oncologist specializing in head and neck at U of C and they’re world class. Please let me know if you need anything. Take care.

  6. says

    Angel – this was a really well done way to share Liz’s news with her community.

    Liz- my thoughts are with you. I know you will kick cancers butt and I will plan to see you in Chicago!

  7. says

    A most fitting way to let your community know this SOBering news – thank you, Angel, for writing it. And thank YOU, Liz, for sharing with us in a way that’s oh-so-you and helps us see things a little differently (as always). Sending good, healing thoughts. I’m just a quick drive down I-94 should you need anything at all. We will most certainly celebrate SOBcon’s 10th anniversary. Take good care, my friend.

  8. says

    Wow, I’m sitting here thinking of all the times in recent years when I’ve seen you without your voice, Liz. I’m glad they’ve identified the problem, though I’m so sorry to hear about the difficult challenges you’re facing.

    It’s so like you to turn this into a lesson we can all learn from! I love your adventure mindset — very wise words that I plan to carry forward with me. Thoughts and prayers are with you (and you will be equally fabulous with or without hair!).

  9. says

    Great post! I felt shocked, then relieved – because I just can’t imagine social media without Liz, and it’s clear she’s here to stay! I applaud Liz for sharing this – for giving ‘voice’ to her health issues and her business focus. This post is more telling than she may realize. My best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  10. says

    Angel, thank you so much for the beautiful post.

    Liz, love ya lady. Wishing you a speedy recovery and lots of warmth and love to strengthen you through this time.

    I was planning on attending my first SobCon this year and now I have all the more reason to.

  11. says

    Angel – thank you for writing this article. Liz – I send you my love and support as you finish your treatments. The SOBCon community is with you all the way on this. I can’t wait to see you in May – I will, of course, be in Chicago for SOBCon :) What a party it will be!

  12. says

    Liz you have been on my mind SO much lately and maybe this is why. I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis but I know the fighter that you are and the support system you have around you that is unparalleled. If there is anything that I can do to help you or Eric or anything you need at all, please please let me know. You are one of a kind and I know for one thing, I’ll be at your party at SobCon in May that is for sure!! xoxoxo

  13. says

    Angel, great job with this update and thank you for doing this. Liz, there is not much to say here except to let you know I’m thinking of you and wishing you the very best. Really appreciate you sharing this with your community.

  14. says

    Sorry to hear of your struggles. But, SXSW 2014 will still have your room available here in Round Rock. By then you will be able to look back and we can discuss how this experience has affected you. Sheila will be a SOBcon to party in my stead. Stay strong.

  15. Miguel Salcido says

    Great post Liz and Angel, thank you for opening up. My family has been caring for a stage 4 breast cancer patient for the past few months and alot of what you said resonated and was SO true of her/our experience. Keep fighting!

  16. says

    Hi Liz! all the best positive vibrations being sent to you from Australia 😉 We wish you and your family/friends the courage and strength towards a full and happy recovery.

    Thoughts and prayers,

  17. says

    Liz, I love the way you turn challenges into opportunities and keep smiling throughout.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and many beautiful sunrise filled days ahead. I’ll be thinking of you, as will the entire SOBCon community.


  18. says

    There are so many good takeaways in this piece, about facing uncertainty and about making a good game plan, no matter the circumstances. I am sending Liz healing thoughts.

  19. says

    I was just thinking about you yesterday — I kid you not! About how much I’ve gathered from the few times we’ve spoken and the lessons you share via this blog. Wishing you all the best healing energy as you fight this! Please let me know if I can help with anything.

  20. says

    Liz, I went through a similar situation four years ago. I didn’t feel well and nothing seems to make it better. I kept going back to the Dr., but he started to think that I was a hypochondriac.

    Finally, a big enough event happens where someone in the medical field takes you seriously. There’s the choice of which test to get….I choose the expensive one for a change. Then, the phone call comes, the one that changes our life for ever.

    I wish you the best in your cancer treatment. Here are a few things I learned from my adventures in cancer world:

    1. You already know this, but have a great care giver. Cancer is much harder on them than it is on you.
    2. Say yes to drugs. You’ll feel lousy enough with all the drugs you can take, so you might as well make it less if possible.
    3. Speak out about what’s going on. Letting others know how you feel brings support and we all need support going through the adventures of cancer.
    4. Be your own advocate. It’s almost inevitable. There are going to be mistakes made during your treatment. Trust your gut and question strongly when you think things are not being done properly….They’re usually not.
    5. Be ready for cancer world to extend past treatment. In many respects side effects of treatment can be more annoying than the treatment itself. Often you’ll have side effects way after treatment ends. It’s part of the price.

    Good luck and if you need a conversation with someone who’s been through it, even if it’s through a keyboard, I’m here. You’re in my thoughts.

  21. says

    Liz Strauss you are great – your voice is a power for good – as so many have experienced. I love your being, your way of transforming the game.
    Come hell or high water I’ll swim from Cork to your side at SONCon in May.
    It’ll be an honour to greet you.
    Angel – you are a star, a great friend.
    It just goes to show how vital it is to live like Liz – with love for community, true grit & the telephone.
    Big big hugs

  22. says

    Hi Liz!

    We were very lucky to have you come speak at Cision a few years ago & have been excitedly following your posts & appearances since then. We wish you the easiest route to “refilling the well” and send you many get well wishes.

    Lisa Larranaga
    Cision NA

  23. says

    Liz, you lead by way of example and your ethos saturates the network and community you’ve built.

    I have a vision of you in the middle of a bunch of mirrors radiating in all directions and the love you’ve given out to your community is reflected back to you in thousands of ways.

    Be well. L, M.

  24. says

    Wow, Liz. Just Wow. I had no idea until this moment –many thanks to Angel for creating such an informative Q&A. I’m always amazed at what you do and accomplish. Now I’ll be amazed and inspired. Sending prayers of healing your way. Stay strong!

    Scott Schablow

  25. says

    Show no mercy & put cancer in its place!
    I wish you a speedy recovery. In the toughest of times I hear my moms voice saying ” this too shall pass” it always quiets the fear for me.

  26. says

    Sending virtual hugs and heartfelt wishes for a full and speedy recovery, dear Liz.

    And thanks Angel for helping Liz share her very distressing but already inspiring story.

  27. says

    Hi Liz,

    Sending you love,healing energy and light.You can heal yourself. As Sheila says eat those veggies and fruit. It is amazing as I have found over the past year the power of food as medicine. I have been amazed and so have the Drs. Yes drugs are draining in so many ways and I love your snow analogy
    Love you and shout out is I can help in any way, I am only a skype call away. Suzie xxoo

  28. says

    Angel, thank you for the poignant piece.

    Liz, your fierce commitment to focusing on what matters is inspiring. I’m relieved to hear that you’re in good hands. Godspeed on your healing journey.


  29. Mila Araujo says

    To come here and see this news is stunning – Liz, you know you have the love and admiration of so many – you’re a remarkable woman – I’m at a loss for words having just read this.

    Angel, you conducted this interview / story wih Liz incredibly. Liz’s incredible leadership and inspirational qualities as well as her straight shooting business brilliance shines through even in this incredibly challenging time – thank you for writing this so beautiully with Liz.

    Liz, sending you love and good vibes. Knowing you, cancer better watch out- you’ll be kicking its ass.

    Big hugs & admiration.

  30. says

    OMG Liz I have been so busy that I have completely lost touch. I’m so so sorry for what you’re going through. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

    Big hugs,

  31. says


    Although I haven’t had cancer, many of my friends and immediate family have and your roadmap and advice is spot on.

    Prayers and positive thoughts for a continued successful fight.


  32. says

    You’re a true champion, Liz. Thanks for sharing your story with us and showing us how to be brave. Mary-Lynn and I love you dearly for so many things, but most of all your generous spirit. And I still shave regularly :)

  33. says

    Thanks for taking the time to offer such a thorough and real interview. It was a bit of a shocker to read. But many of us are grateful to better understand.

    Liz, Thanks for sharing such an intimate journey. Teaching as always – even in the face of the recovery process. My thoughts are with you. Much love and gratitude, Judy

  34. says

    Thank you so much for this, Angel.

    Liz… as always, I’m inspired by your strength and delighted that you are surrounded by such an incredible support system.

    I could hear your voice so clearly in this piece…a credit to both you and Angel… I will be thinking about you and sending love and healing your way.

  35. says

    Wow, so inspiring Liz! My mother in law, also named Liz (I know lot’s of Liz’s) was just diagnosed with cancer. I will be sure to share your interview, especially the part about how you move forward! Thanks so much Angel for sharing Liz’s story with us!

  36. says

    Liz, Thanks for sharing your courageous and intimate journey, and for what might be one of your greatest teachings, among so many. You are truly an inspiration. Sending positive thoughts and healing energy for your speedy recovery. ~ Mary Kay Russell

  37. says

    I came across a random post from a friend on Facebook and followed the path to hear. I’m not going to lie, my eyes filled up with tears reading about what has been happening in your life. Sending you huggin’ the stuffin’ hugs and healing and positive thoughts.


  38. Lisa D. Jenkins says

    Liz, whatever you need, if it’s within my power, it’s yours for the asking along with prayers for peace, healing and strength. You lovely, lovely woman.

  39. says

    The best way to hear not so good news…from Angel’s thoughtful questions come your prose-filled answers. Prayers, good vibes and virtual hugs coming your way from KC!

  40. says

    Angel – Thanks much for letting sharing this news in such an informative and passionate manner.

    Liz – There’s a few thousand of us out here who will gladly be your “voice” if needed. We’ve got your back! Best of luck with the treatments.

  41. says

    Liz your positivity and spirit shine through in this interview with Angel. Inspired and inspiring. Thinking about you and sending you every good wish for a full and speedy recovery.

  42. says

    Thanks Angel…and Liiiiiizzzz, I’m sending all my love and well wishes. You helped me on my long journey, and I’m clearing my schedule for Sobcon 2013. We all want to hear you loud and clear.


  43. says

    I remember times when you lost (or were about to lose) your voice and I just thought it was because you were talking so much.

    You’re an inspiration to me and many others. I wish you the best and hope your treatments and recovery goes smoothly.

  44. says

    Although we’ve never connected, Liz, I’ve been a big fan of your blog and a faithful reader. I’m so sorry to learn of your illness and am sending prayers for a full and speedy recovery.

  45. says

    Liz, I pray for your recovery. The way you have handled this “daunting medical problem” is a real inspiration to me. You said, “You can only think about two things: the adventure and what you need to do to catch the next airplane.” Ever since I have known you, you have sought adventure and the next airplane! Do keep it up!


  46. Jerry Hirsch, says

    Liz, Thank You for sharing your Journey and the Light and Love You Always Generate.
    May Your Positive Energy Radiate and Gift You with All The Tools Necessary For A Full Recovery.

    Jerry Hirsch

  47. says

    Liz I’m so sorry to hear this but so grateful for your positive attitude that will help you greatly in the coming weeks. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and please let me know if I can help!

  48. Carol Tice says

    Sending you healing vibes!

    And wishing you what we Jews call refuah sh’lemah–complete healing of body and soul.

    I know you will transform this into powerful insights that only make you and all of us grow-like when you had all of us give your talk at Sobcon.

  49. Julie Olian says

    “Cancer Perk” has become our family’s reference to the learning, sharing, perspective and strength that grew from the battle. Looking back, it brought us closer than I thought possible, and refocused our journey to more clearly live what is truly important.

    Please know you’re supported by an army of friends and admirers!

  50. says

    Thank you all for the kind words. It was a real privilege to write the article. Having someone as fabulous as Liz, with such a clear voice, share so openly makes it easy. As her health allows we do plan to do follow up pieces so stay tuned.

    Looking forward to every one of you at SOBCon Chicago in May.

  51. Amanda Bucklow says

    I am very moved by your clarity about surrendering to the process of getting well. I am sure it will make all the difference. There are many ‘wellness warriors’ in your orbit and I add my wishes for your positive journey towards recovery.

    Thinking of you,

  52. Monique Attinger says

    Liz – It’s been a long time since I dropped by your blog or exchanged emails / comments with you… I just heard through Twitter that you’re dealing with cancer of the larynx. I’m sorry that this is happening for you, and I am sending thoughts and prayers. Your positive attitude and energy are your best assets in this challenge. I believe this is simply a speed bump on your road….

  53. says

    Just hearing/reading about this. Good luck Liz! You always seem to meet every challenge with the strength/grace that most people can never muster. Your words are gems and I can’t even imagine the words of wisdom that you will be able to impart during and after this part of your life’s journey.

  54. says

    You continue to be an inspiration to those that follow you – both in business and in personal life. Best wishes for a fast recovery.

  55. Margie Analise says

    Thank you for sharing such a private part of your life Liz. Inspiring and selflessly thinking of others through this time – what an amazing soul you are.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family as you go through this ‘adventure’, to be restored and renewed when it’s done.

  56. says

    Wow, you’re very brave Liz. I just found out about this and I’m shocked! I’m so glad to hear though that you are getting treated for it and you have a great attitude about it.

    You are an inspiration for us all. If there is ever anything I can do for you you know to just call. My prayers are with you and your family.

    God bless,


  57. says

    Thank you, Angel, for this update. Dearest Liz, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know you will overcome this challenge! God bless you, darlin’.

  58. says

    Thank you so much for this.

    Liz, I have been so focused on being an entrepreneur, this is the first time I heard about your illness. I am most certainly going to be attending the big party and I can’t wait!
    Here’s to SOBcon and the people who won’t let you fail.
    Be Strong. I know you are.


  59. says

    Liz, you’ve been an inspiration to me for many years. I know that you will fight and win this battle. I too had cancer. It was stage 1 testicular cancer. I caught early too and I’m cancer free for 2 years now. Stay strong and if you need anything I’m here.

  60. Barbara Vogel says

    Your bravery, spirit,forthrightness and eloquence are an inspiration, Liz. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and good health.

  61. says

    It took me a little time to register that is about Liz, and then the first reaction is shock – but then when I got to read the interview with Liz, it just reinforced what I know about Liz – one beautiful ball of belief and bounce. Our life is not what we catch but what we throw out into the world, and Liz has been throwing wonder and wisdom into the world, now she needs to think about Liz – because Lord knows she is a rare bird that thinks so much of others. All the best.


  62. says

    LIZ! My beloved mentor and friend. I am sending you so much love and STRENGTH to get through the remainder of your treatment. Am so relieved they figured out what was wrong and acted before it was too late – the world needs your voice and I, for one, cannot wait to hear it again!!! I will come to SOBCon this year to celebrate you, just let me know if there’s anything I can do in the meanwhile. Sending you the deepest, most soul-affirming hug of your LIFE.



  63. says

    Dearest Liz,
    You take inspiration to another level of giving people fortitude and a lesson of understanding life situations no matter good or bad.

    Please know that my prayers are with you and your son.


  64. says

    Oh wow! My prayers and thoughts are with you and a huge hug for being open and sharing your story!! Balancing your decisions while being an entrepreneur is not an easy one. But we celebrate your strength, your decisions and will send virtual applause to you at SOBCon.

  65. says

    Thanks to Gail at GrowMap I just learned about what’s happened to you, Liz. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You are an inspiration to me. I still remember the day we met – about 4 years ago. God bless.

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